Small errors prompt Elections Committee to reset the AMS elections ballot at 1 a.m. last night

If you voted last night between 12 a.m. and 1 a.m., you’ll need to vote again.

The Elections Committee had to reset this year’s ballot early this morning after people reported errors with it.

The AMS elections ballot contained a few errors: first was a formatting error — the ballot had to be formatted according to the Condorcet method, the voting system the AMS uses for its elections. Specifically, the presidential race on the ballot didn’t allow for ranking — it only allows voters to choose one candidate.

Then, Kamil Kanji’s bio for his Senate bid was wrong — the committee had mistakenly placed Georgia Yee’s bio in the spot for Kanji’s bio.

The ballot opened at midnight, and 92 people had voted before the Elections Committee was able to address the mistakes, according to Chief Electoral Officer Shania Muthu.

“Luckily, we caught it all super, super early. So it was just as the ballots came out, I want to say 12:10, we started getting emails and phone calls,” she said.

Muthu said the Elections Committee looked over the ballot multiple times, as did sitting AMS President Cole Evans. Evans is not a candidate in this year’s elections.

As for outreach to those who voted and will now have to vote again, Muthu said the committee will not be doing targeted outreach to those people, but rather will send emails to all of the people who have not voted in general.

“By the nature of the email where it says like, ‘You haven't voted, vote now’ … they'll be able to identify whether or not they voted,” Muthu said.

Evans wrote in a statement that Simply Voting — the platform they use to conduct voting — is a “complex platform.”

“Sometimes errors can arise that might not be very apparent during ballot creation. Luckily, the AMS Elections team was able to correct these errors within only a few hour[s] of the ballot launching overnight - meaning only a very limited number of ballots were impacted."

Evans said this is not the first year an error like this has occurred. Last year, the Elections Committee had to reset the ballot twice due to minor errors.

“Since there have been repeating events where elections teams encounter errors even after thorough review, the AMS will need to take a close look at Simply Voting to ensure we can mitigate future errors from occurring.”